|Are cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, and increasingly stealthy subs and torpedoes making surface forces relatively easy pickings in a shooting war between major powers?
Yes defenses against Anti-ship missiles have come a long way since the British navy came close to decimation at the hands of the Argentina: If the Argies had more exocets, more modern aircraft and better pilots, hoo boy, there would have been alot more tonnage at the bottom of the seas.
But with billion-dollar targets bobbing around out there and increasingly-sophisticated weapons dedicated to their destruction is a surface fleet more vulnerable than we'd like to think?
At just $1mm per unit how many stealth cruise missiles does it make sense to launch at a CBG? 100? 200? It would be hard to keep heavy bombers from getting within 1000 miles of a CBG, wouldn't it? How many ballistic missiles would a CBG attract? 50?
Let's put it this way: Is there ANY surface navy that our Air Force could not completely obliterate within 72 hours of 'go'? (It might take a week for them to take out our own...) F22s and B2's with 1000lb & 2000 lb video-guided JDAMS would be a naaaaasty start, a dozen B-52s can launch 150 cruise missiles in one wave to batter any remaining ships into floating hulks, and we still have B1s and F15 Strike Eagles waiting for their turn.
We obviously still need a navy to control the seas,